The more of us ask questions about the methods companies apply to produce our goods, the better: with many consumers asking the same questions, they will feel that it is necessary for them to become more transparent. This will likely not lead them to offer in-depth information. However, as they may not openly lie to customers, also for legal reasons, they will provide some information, which can serve as reference for you.
If you are interested in more information on the production methods of the companies that produce your goods, you will probably not find the relevant information on the labels that are attached to the products. So you may want to send them a letter.
You can use the template letter we have developed (see below) and add whatever questions you may have in addition to the ones we have listed. Just copy paste to your own letter template with you letterhead etc.
Finding the address is not that hard. Most of the bigger companies have customer service sections on their website that contain both postal and e-mail addresses. Otherwise, there is always a general contact reference on the company’s website. You can use that address and just send the letter to the marketing department. They will know what to do with it.
We hope you will receive a reply to your request. If you do, we would be grateful if you could send us a copy to email@example.com.
TEMPLATE FOR LETTER TO MANUFACTURER / SELLER
(enter name of recipient
and/or department and
full company address)
Ref: Information on (enter product name and type)
(enter your location, and date)
Dear Madam, Dear Sir,
I am writing to you as a customer-to-be. I recently saw (enter product name and type) at (enter name of store) in (enter location). I like it very much and I am considering to buy it.
However, I am a conscious consumer and before I buy something, I would first like to know more about the methods that were applied for producing it. Unfortunately, the labels on (enter product) do not contain the information I am looking for, so it would be great if you could provide some useful information. Should you not be in the position to answer my questions, kindly forward my request to a person who is.
Have you always produced this product in the country that is marked as country of origin? Or have you shifted production from other regions, and if so where was it produced before and why did you move production?
In the factories you use to produce (enter name of product), do you pay sufficient wages that your workers can live from or do they receive poverty wages? This is important to me, as I do not wish to contribute to exploiting other people.
Are your workers protected from dangerous substances that are used for production? Do you make sure that accidents at work can’t happen?
Is the entire product made in the country that is marked as country of origin? Or do you ship pre-products around prior to assembling the finished product? Just roughly, how far do your (enter name of product) travel before they reach stores in Europe?
Have you installed CO2 reducing technology and process methods in the factories that produce (enter name of product)?
In case you use suppliers, do you have a monitoring system to ensure that they are permanently working according to your environmental and social standards? How often do you do audits at these companies? And do you have binding environmental and social clauses in your contracts with suppliers?
I would be grateful for information on my questions, as I would like to become your customer. Please convince me that I am making the right choice!
I look forward to your reply.
(enter your signature)